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State of emergency, landslide risk in Kamloops forces people from homes

Last Updated Apr 28, 2017 at 4:37 pm PDT

A look at the potential landslide in the City of Kamloops. (Courtesy City of Kamloops)

At least 22 people have registered with the city's emergency response centre

Pooling water, muddy debris leads to possible landslide concerns in Kamloops

KAMLOOPS (NEWS 1130) – A local state of emergency has been declared in the City of Kamloops after growing fears of a landslide on an unstable slope prompted an evacuation by more than 20 people.

City workers first had concerns nearly three weeks ago about a slope just north of the Rayleigh subdivision close to the turn-off on the way to Sun Peaks Ski Resort, when they saw pooling water and muddy debris falling onto Highway 5 below.

“The City of Kamloops has been working with geo-technical experts to monitor the area for several weeks and identified a recent significant change in the landscape causing the City to take this action. Pooling of water has resulted in sloughing of the hillside,” the city says in a statement.

The sloping escalated over the last week with a large crack opening on the hillside. On Thursday afternoon, the city issued the evacuation order and by that night, 22 people had registered with the emergency response centre.

“We understand the evacuated residents are concerned and we are striving to keep them informed with accurate information,” says EOC Information Officer Tammy Robertson. “We are hoping to get them back to their homes as soon as possible.”

So far, there have been no injuries reported, and the highway remains open.

Acting Kamloops mayor Arjun Singh credits the city’s proactive approach for catching a sloping early.

“Over the weekend we’re getting some monitoring equipment which is going to be on the hillside,” he says. “That will let us know next week what the movement is or isn’t and then we’ll be able to figure out from there.”

He says they don’t yet know when evacuees will be able to return home.